This week Primary held our first of two Kindergarten Orientation visits for our new students who will begin their school journey with us in 2021. With parents not allowed on site due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was pleasing to see all students wave goodbye to mum and dad at the front gate and happily walk into the College to meet their new friends. They participated in a range of in-class and playground activities and were very excited to wear their new Kindy t-shirt home. Next week they will receive a little “goody bag” with different items to help them prepare for big school. This includes their very own “I’m going to big school” book that has been designed as a social story to help them prepare for the year ahead.

We can’t have the parents miss out on all the fun so we held a Zoom information session for them last week and we have also created a Kindy 2021 link on our College website that has all sorts of information to help a parent and their child prepare for Kindy. Feel free to check it out and share the link with your friends. Although designed for new kindy families, it provides a fantastic visual summary of what happens daily across the College. You never know, you may just see one of your children starring in one of the many videos. Here is the link.

This term in Geography we have been exploring how the location of places can be represented. We have applied new skills, with increased ability, when working independently and collaboratively in fieldwork. We have looked at the keys on maps and discovered where certain geological features can be found. As a reflection of traditional Indigenous mapping, we collected objects from the school environment to create a ‘journey stick’.

The Pirates of KLM, KKP and KKG have been busy following procedures on ‘How to make a telescope’ and ‘How to make a pirate hat’ in anticipation of our big pirate day. We sailed on the S.S Swainey using our telescopes to look for things on the high seas and sailed back to shore to write in our journals about what the Captain saw.

Year 1
We have turned into amazing little investigators in recent weeks. They loved the Newcastle Museum visit where they learnt all about vibrations and some students even turned into a human ear! 2D shapes and 3D objects have been a big part of our research lately, as we created our own objects and analysed where we can find them in our home and classroom environment. We then looked into whether they can stack or roll, or even both! Parents, do you know how many faces a sphere has? Or how many corners a cylinder has? Perhaps your superstar child can shed some light on this for you. Speaking of superstars, we’ve also been working on a secret assembly item that may or may not have a bit of a Rockstar theme……(Clue: It’s not ‘hand-tight’…….)

Year 2
What an exciting couple of weeks it has been in Year 2. We completed our lessons on various comprehension strategies and are ready to pack our toolkit and head into Year 3 in a couple of weeks. Currently, we are putting them altogether to help get the most out of everything we read and ‘fix’ any issues we come across, whether it be decoding words, working out the meaning of unknown words, summarising paragraphs or whole texts, or inferring any additional meaning the author is intending. Year 2’s writing skills are developing all of the time and our procedures are clearer through the inclusion of adverbs. There has been some incredible work done in Mathematics as we refined the use of a number line during addition and subtraction as well as adding the ‘split strategy’ to our repertoire in addition. Some of the home research tasks for Geography have started to come into the classroom and they look amazing. Students have done some wonderful research and presented their World Heritage Site very creatively. We have continued to combine substances to create mixtures in Science. We were fascinated by corn flour and water, what you could do with it and how it can change depending on how much water is added. The most excitement this week was created when Newcastle Museum visited to teach Year 2 about the journey of their food from their “Gums to Bums”! There was plenty of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahhs’ but also a lot of ‘ughs!’. The photos tell the story.

Year 3
It has been a busy fortnight in Year 3! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Museum Express Science Show where we learnt all about pressure. During the show we investigated how to move water from a bottle into a cup using only a straw, balloon and pressure. We then explored how changes in temperature can affect pressure and crush a can and the highlight of the show was certainly the marshmallow shooter!

We enjoyed a calming experience in our Prayer Space with Mr Thornton. There we found different activities to help us reach out to God and connect with our feelings through using forgiveness stones, a prayer wall and sorry string, along with many other activities.

We have also been busy in our writing lessons learning all about procedures. We have looked at how to set out a procedure and discussed common language devices that are used. Students then put their writing skills to the test when they followed their procedure to decorate their biscuits with icing and various treats.

Year 4
This week Year Four joined the primary school in the pleasure of having a visit from the Newcastle Museum. Cathryn, a geologist, took the children on an adventure to the centre of the Earth and explained how rock movement can create earthquakes, volcanos and mountains. Students were treated to chemical reactions that made a mess and went pop. They also made a delicious experiment using a Ferraro Rocher, chocolate sauce, custard, and crackers to explain the make up of the world.

Year 5
Over the past fortnight, students thoroughly enjoyed working on their farming convention assessment. Students are working collaboratively to research and compare insect farming to other types of farming. In literacy, we delved into procedural text, where students constructed and wrote about balloon rockets. In Geography, they are creating a fire management brochure, identifying how to protect homes and local areas from bushfires. Year 5 Students were extremely excited to be playing some completive sport against their peers this term. Students have already shown great sportsmanship within basketball, soccer, and netball.

Year 6
We have been busy studying and revising many concepts. Within our writing and novel study units we are delving deep into the world of visual literacy, investigating the many techniques authors and illustrators use to convey meaning and messages within their books. Students have begun to write their own picture books based on these techniques. We have many budding illustrators and authors among us. Students are also enjoying physical brain breaks that are occurring as we head to the end of the year. Plank, wall sit and body weight challenges have occurred within the classroom, getting the blood pumping between lessons.

Within Maths, students revised their knowledge of 3D objects and refined our fine motor skills constructing 3D objects and challenged each other to build the highest possible 3D towers.

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School